Terry Riley: Sun Rings by Kronos Quartet
2019 is the fiftieth Anniversary of the moon landing. So I think that this is the perfect time for the first ever recording that intersperses sounds from space with classical music. Sun Rings by Terry Riley was originally debuted in 2002 and is a strange and beautiful work, a perfect description of deep space itself. A multi-movement and multi-focus piece of music, it began the process of creation in 2000 when NASA approached the Kronos Quartet to see if they were interested in incorporating some of the forty years of sounds recorded by spacecraft into a newly commissioned contemporary piece.
Having already worked with Terry Riley for more than twenty years, the artistic director David Harrington knew Riley was the composer for the job. It became ten movements of sound, pictures and voices all interwoven to create an immersive experience. Although they have performed it over fifty times in eleven countries, it feels like a privilege to finally be able to experience this work and find out more about the decades of science and collaboration that formed the basis of this groundbreaking piece.